Empathy, Flexibility and Adaptiveness…

5 April 2020 - Rachana Khatri

A fellow friend and champion for entrepreneurs (you know who you are…) recently asked me “What would be one skill you would look for in future employees post COVID-19?” It really got me thinking about our current Nepal Communitere team and what I was seeing unfold through this past couple of weeks of being on lockdown and working remotely. I struggled to come up with ONE skill – and since I love clusters of three – I replied with three key qualities that I was already seeing among our stellar team: Empathy, Flexibility and Adaptiveness.

On day one we immediately launched into group video check-ins. I spent my whole Monday figuring out the best way to make sure we can all connect easily. It was a priority and extremely important for us to connect. We made sure we were all ok, to ease each other’s anxiety, to listen, laugh and support one another. Empathy was key. We created a safe place for team members to express if they are feeling demotivated, anxious, or even enjoying the time at home, time to cook, eat and be with family. We recognize the wide myriad of emotions and experiences we’re all having and accept one another without judgement. We knew we were there to support one another.

We very soon realized that there was no way we were going to stick to 9 am-5 pm days. That meant we needed to be flexible with one another. If some of us are juggling cooking, cleaning and homeschooling in the mornings, that means we’re working in the evenings or on the weekends. We’ve always been an agile organization but now we needed to be even more open to last-minute calls, requests and changes.

Our program team started exploring different tools and methods to launch the I-Cube program in Butwal. We started looking at what a virtual incubation program would look like, would it even be possible for our startups? How can we adapt our masterclasses and 1-1s so that they still deliver quality business support services to our Butwal startups? Our FabLab team is looking at ways to begin prototyping face masks or ventilator parts and pieces that Nepal can benefit from during this COVID-19 crisis. Being adaptive and responsive to the changing context is critical to our success and impact, not only during these trying times but also in the long run.

So looking ahead at how we can build new skills and tap into our inherent innovative coping mechanisms, we at Nepal Communitere encourage you all to continue connecting with one another as much as possible during these isolating times. Don’t be so hard on yourselves – be flexible and give yourself permission to fully change the way you work and live. Explore new and creative ways to adapt to this crisis because it may not go away very soon.

To strength and wellness for our entire community…